Protest against Kudankulam project resumes

October 9th, 2011 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, Oct 9 (IANS) Dissatisfied with the outcome of the meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two days ago, anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) activists Sunday resumed their protest fast protest in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.

“We are holding the protest for three days hoping that the central government will accede to our demand,” People’s Rights Movement coordinator S. Sivasubramanian told IANS.

“If the government does not announce anything, we will chalk out our future protest strategies,” he added.

The fast is being held at Idinthakarai village near Kudankulam in the district, around 650 km from here.

Referring to Manmohan Singh’s letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa seeking her support for implementing the atomic power project, Sivasubramanian said: “He should not have written like that.”

“We don’t expect the chief minister to change her stand… During our meeting with her, we found her to be serious on the safety concerns expressed by us. She will not go outside the resolution passed by the state cabinet on the issue,” the activist said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW-capacity nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam. The first unit is expected to go on stream in December.

The total project cost is estimated to be around Rs.11,500 crore.

On Sep 22, the Tamil Nadu government formally asked Manmohan Singh and the central government to halt work at the reactors till the local fears over the reactor’s safety were allayed.

More than 100 protesters were on fast at Idinthakari village for 11 days prior to the state cabinet resolution.

A multi-party delegation from Tamil Nadu led by state finance minister O. Pannerselvam met the prime minister in New Delhi Friday along with the anti-KNPP activists.

Manmohan Singh told the delegation that while work of the project, to be commissioned later this year, would proceed, a high-level committee would be set up to allay fears about the plant.

“We are in the dark about the composition of the committee,” Sivasubramanian said.

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